Major powers draw a new Syria map

The Saudi-backed HNC has dismissed the "idea of federalism" in Syria, naming it a prelude to partition. However the Syrian government, Moscow and the Kurdish PYD believe it could be key to ending the war.

Major powers draw a new Syria map

World Bulletin / News Desk

Key powers have discussed the possibility of a federal division of Syria as an option to end five years of war, UN diplomats say.

A Security Council diplomat, who has chose to stay anonymous said some Western powers and Russia are looking into Syria's federal division that would keep country's unity as one state but give autonomy to regional authorities.

The source further said the idea had been passed on to UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"While insisting on retaining the territorial integrity of Syria, so continuing to keep it as a single country, of course there are all sorts of different models of a federal structure that would, in some models, have a very, very loose center and a lot of autonomy for different regions," the diplomat added.

The comments were confirmed by another UN Security Council diplomat.

This comes as talks between Syrian government delegates and the so-called opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), are set to resume in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 14.

The UN-brokered peace negotiations collapsed early in February after the Saudi-backed opposition left the talks amid the Syrian army's Russian-backed gains against militants on several fronts.

Neither side has confirmed their participation in the fresh round of talks. Meanwhile, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities, brokered by Russia and the US, has taken effect in Syria since February 27.

On Thursday, de Mistura said in an interview with Al Jazeera that "all Syrians have rejected division (of Syria) and federalism can be discussed at the negotiations."

On February 29, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested that a federal state may be a suitable government model to preserve Syria's unity and sovereignty.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also said in an interview last September that any change must be approved by the Arab nation, adding, "From our side, when the Syrian people are ready to move in a certain direction, we will naturally agree to this."

Riad Hijab, head of the Saudi-backed HNC, said earlier this week that the opposition will not accept federalism, adding, "We have agreed we will expand non-central government in a future Syria, but not any kind of federalism or division."

Support from the PYD

Earlier this week, the leader of the Western-backed Syrian Kurdish party PYD, Saleh Muslim, reiterated similar demands, telling Reuters that the Kurds want a "decentralized Syria," whether this be achieved through federalism or otherwise.

"What you call it isn't important," Muslim said. "We have said over and over again that we want a decentralized Syria - call it administrations, call it federalism - everything is possible."





Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mart 2016, 21:52